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Andre's Mother is an American drama film, written by Terrence McNally, adapted from his stage play, and directed by Deborah Reinisch, which was broadcast on the PBS television program American Playhouse in 1990. It stars Richard Thomas, Sada Thompson, and Sylvia Sidney.

Andre's Mother
DVD cover
Directed byDeborah Reinisch
Produced bySarah Green
Deborah Reinisch
Written byTerrence McNally (play and teleplay)
StarringRichard Thomas
Sada Thompson
Sylvia Sidney
Music byJonathan Sheffer
CinematographyBobby Bukowski
Edited byJeffrey Wolf
Distributed byPublic Broadcasting Service
Release date
  • March 7, 1990 (1990-03-07)
Running time
50 minutes
CountryUnited States


The play is set at the Manhattan memorial service for Andre Gerard, who died of AIDS and was buried in Dallas several weeks earlier. Andre's mother Katharine cannot come to terms with his death or share her grief with Cal, Andre's lover. Her rage is directed not only at the man she never accepted and her own mother, who was less judgmental of her grandson's life, but at Andre himself as well.



The screenplay by Terrence McNally is an expansion of his eight-minute play written for an anthology titled Urban Blight that was produced by the Manhattan Theater Club in 1988.[2][3][4]

The film was produced by WGBH Boston and was broadcast on March 14, 1990 by PBS stations nationwide as part of the American Playhouse series.[1] It was released on Region 1 DVD on April 25, 2006.

Critical receptionEdit

John O'Connor of The New York Times called it one of those

...programs that vividly illustrate why public television can be indispensable....

"Andre's Mother" has been given a superb cast and an exquisite production ....

Even in this sensitive exercise, obviously, the subject of AIDS is handled with some trepidation. Andre cannot be just an average guy; he has to be a paragon.... But the AIDS epidemic is claiming ordinary and exceptionally gifted citizens alike. Perhaps they can all merit television's unselfconscious compassion some day. Meanwhile, bolstered powerfully by the performances of Miss Thompson and Mr. Thomas, "Andre's Way" makes encouraging headway in the right direction.[2]


McNally won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special, and the National Board of Review named it Outstanding Television Movie of the Year.


  1. ^ a b Andre's Mother, accessed March 1, 2016
  2. ^ a b O'Connor, John J. (March 7, 1990). "Review/Television; Accepting the Lover of a Son Dead of AIDS". The New York Times. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
  3. ^ Haun, Harry. "'Andre's Mother' Derides Again: Playwright Terrence McNally Revisits Old Sorrows and Finds a New Life" The Observer, March 19, 2014
  4. ^ Brown, Patricia Lee. "Twenty Playwrights Survey Urban Life" The New York Times, June 19, 1988

External linksEdit